Economy, Russia-Ukraine War

Russia to halt gas supply to Poland, Bulgaria amid ‘ruble’ row

Poland to become 1st country to be cut off from gas by Gazprom since start of Russia’s war on Ukraine

Busra Nur Cakmak  | 27.04.2022 - Update : 27.04.2022
Russia to halt gas supply to Poland, Bulgaria amid ‘ruble’ row


Russian energy firm Gazprom has informed Poland and Bulgaria that it will stop supplying gas to the two countries as of Wednesday.

Polish state gas company PGNiG said in a statement that Gazprom informed them that all gas deliveries would be halted from 08:00 CET (0600 GMT).

“On April 26, Gazprom informed PGNiG of its intention to completely suspend deliveries under the Yamal contract at the beginning of the contract day on April 27,” it said.

Bulgaria’s Energy Ministry also said that Gazprom is halting supplies to the country.

"Today, April 26, Bulgargaz AD received a notification that deliveries of natural gas from Gazprom Export will be suspended as of April 27, 2022," said the ministry in a statement.

“The Bulgarian side has fully fulfilled its obligations and has made all payments required under this agreement in a timely manner, strictly and in accordance with its clauses,” it added.

Gazprom informed its customers officially on April 1 with regards to new payment conditions for Russian gas while stating that deliveries done as of today must be paid in rubles.

The statement said that Gazprom respects Russian law unconditionally as a Russian company and it officially conveyed to its customers the new procedure for Russian ruble payments.

Speaking at a meeting with government officials in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on March 31 that he signed a decree laying out the rules for trading Russian natural gas in rubles.

He added that Russia will halt gas supplies to buyers from "unfriendly states" if they do not switch to payments in rubles as of April 1.

"To purchase Russian natural gas, they must open ruble accounts in Russian banks. It is from these accounts that the gas will be paid for starting on April 1," he noted.

Poland’s Minister of Climate and Environment, Anna Moskwa, responded on Twitter following the news.

“Poland has the necessary gas reserves and sources of supply that protect our security - we have been effectively independent from Russia for years. Our warehouses are 76% full. There will be no shortage of gas in Polish homes,” she said.

Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said in a tweet that “Gazprom's move to completely shut off gas supplies to Poland is yet another sign of Russia's politicization of existing agreements & will only accelerate European efforts to move away from Russian energy supplies. @IEA stands firmly with Poland.”

At least 2,729 civilians have been killed and 3,111 others injured in Ukraine since Russia launched its war on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is feared to be much higher.

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